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Diabetes In Children

Life With Diabetes

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 18:22

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Diabetes is not like other health problems. It needs attention many times a day, every day. It also requires knowledge on how to cope with special occasions, sickness, and emergencies. Your family will become the greatest experts on your child's diabetes!

Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be successfully controlled. Insulin injections will enable the child to recover quickly from the acute phase. With good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, children with diabetes can grow and develop normally.

How Well Can Your Family Cope?

It's important for families to work together in dealing with a child's diabetes:

  • Parents should share the responsibilities.
  • As children mature, they should take on more and more of the tasks themselves, with supervision.
  • Children should not be overprotected. Diabetes shouldn't be an excuse to get out of anything or for receiving special privileges.

How To Information:

Controlling diabetes involves paying attention to many different aspects of life - not just for the child, but for the whole family. Here are the five "Es" of good diabetes control:

  • Emotions - Stay relaxed and confident about your ability to control diabetes.
  • Education - Continue to learn about diabetes in general, and your child's diabetes in particular.
  • Exercise - For good diabetes control (and general health), stay fit and physically active.
  • Eating - Eat a healthy diet. Food that's good for diabetes is a good diet for everyone.
  • Enthusiasm - Stay upbeat. Accept diabetes and feel confident that you can handle it.

Goals for the child's social development

Here are the goals for your child's social development:

  • Normal emotional development. Children who are involved in helping to control their diabetes may be more mature than average for their age.
  • Not using diabetes to manipulate others. The child shouldn't get away with anything because of diabetes (and parents shouldn't use diabetes as a way to control the child's behavior).
  • Learning to take responsibility for his/her own day-to-day care. It's important to encourage children not to be too dependent on parents or other adults.
  • No absences from school just because of diabetes. Special arrangements can always be made for blood testing, insulin shots, or meals.
  • Full participation in sports and other types of exercise. Some of our best athletes have diabetes! Exercise just requires some adjustment to the timing of meals, snacks, and/or insulin shots.
  • Full participation in social events. Miss America 1999 hastype 1 diabetes.
  • Understanding diabetes and feeling confident about controlling it. Everyone in the family may be anxious in the early stages, but as you all settle into a routine, anxiety levels should drop.

Remember, the goal is to live with diabetes, not for it!

Diabetes In Children